Understanding Tinnitus and How It Affects Hearing

  1. Understanding Tinnitus

Tinnitus is one of the most bothersome ailments you can have and most often sounds like a ringing in your ears. For some, it goes on without a stop. For others, it can occur once in a while. Either way, it seems there is nothing that can help stop the constant noise.

It affects nearly 60 million Americans, especially those over the age of 55, and is commonly associated with hearing loss. Even though most worry that this is a sign of a serious medical condition or of going deaf, it usually isn’t.

What Does Tinnitus Sound Like?

It is most commonly described as a ringing in the ears that is on top of your normal hearing. It can occur in both ears at the same time or just one ear, and it can occur every day or just once in a while.

Instead of ringing in the ears, some people can hear a whooshing noise or a constant roar in the ears. Other people hear a buzzing sound. Whichever sound it is, everyone agrees that it is a sound inside the ears or head, and not in the surrounding environment.

Possible Causes

Loud sounds are one main cause, but this usually occurs for a short time after being exposed to loud music or loud noise. Long-term exposure to loud sounds can cause tinnitus to turn into a long-term problem.

Certain medications can cause this ringing in the ears such as aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, certain antibiotics, antidepressants, quinine medications, and loop diuretics. Once the usage of medication is stopped, the problem usually disappears.

Other possible causes include a build-up of ear wax, Meniere’s disease, allergies, anemia, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, circulatory problems, an underactive thyroid, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

Alcohol, smoking, and caffeine can also cause ringing in the ears or make the existing problem worse.

Tinnitus Treatments

Thankfully there are some tinnitus treatments that can help. Using sound therapy like the Beltone Tinnitus Calmer App is one such treatment. This therapy distracts your brain from focusing on the ringing or whooshing sound.

The Beltone Tinnitus Calmer App combines sound therapy with relaxing exercises that can help give relief from the chronic ringing. This app works on Apple iPhones, iPads, iPods, and Android devices.

A hearing aid can help with tinnitus if you have associated hearing loss. Hearing maskers look like hearing aids and can mask the ringing by helping the brain ignore specific frequencies that cause tinnitus.

If you’re concerned about hearing loss, you can take an online hearing test. If you would like more information about tinnitus and how you can get relief from it, contact us at Beltone Dallas-Fort Worth.